Sacred Waters Yoga to Host Renowned Instructor Ryan Cunningham

ryan-cunningham_bio_300x199One of the Lakes Region’s most vibrant and innovative yoga and wellness studios is planning a weekend of in-depth study with a well-respected and accomplished instructor from Boston, who will be teaching three different workshops for new and seasoned students, as well as for yoga teachers and teachers-in-training.

Sacred Waters Yoga at Mill Falls will welcome Ryan Cunningham on Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th. Ryan is a yoga instructor and a Yoga Teacher Training instructor at Back Bay Yoga, a premiere studio located in Back Bay, Boston. On Friday evening and Saturday, Ryan will be leading three workshops: Introduction to Restorative Yoga, The Fluid Spine: Relieving Tension & Cultivating Strength, and Teacher Workshop: Building a Strong Foundation. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn skills and techniques to deepen your practice! Register for each class independently, or receive a discount on enrollment if registering for all three workshops.

This will be Ryan’s second time teaching at Sacred Waters Yoga. He was one of several guest instructors at the studio’s grand opening on February 23rd of this year, when he led a Restorative Yoga workshop.

“My last trip to Meredith to teach at Sacred Waters was a great time,” says Ryan. “The space really feels like home, as if you were teaching in someone’s living room. On top of that, all of the students were so open and excited to practice!”

According to Christina Alexa, Founder and Director of Sacred Waters Yoga, Ryan’s class was very well received and enjoyed a good turnout. The staff is very excited about hosting him again in November.

ryan-cunningham_asana_300x199“Ryan is a highly educated, caring, and inspiring instructor from the Boston area,” says Christina. “He manages Back Bay Yoga in Boston and is also an instructor in the Back Bay Yoga Teacher Training programs. He brings fresh insight and dimension to our community here at Sacred Waters Yoga.”

Christina is looking forward to offering new and current students as well as yoga instructors an array of in-depth workshops that “stimulate and inform their practice and teaching styles.” She explains, “Ryan is well versed in the Restorative component of practice, which is a style of teaching unto itself. He is also skilled in addressing the subtleties of alignment and right action through movement, which he will present in his Fluid Spine workshop, encouraging release of tension and establishing and maintaining a “healthy back” (which most of us need in this culture.) In his Teacher Workshop Ryan will discuss how to teach beginners, which is a huge component of our 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program here at Sacred Waters as well . . . beginner students truly test [instructors’] degree of knowledge and experience as you have to understand correct language of asana and cueing, you must be able to “read” the bodies of your students, assist properly, answer questions about physical issues, etc. If you can teach a beginner then you can truly teach! I hope to see many of our current YTT students in this workshop.”

“These three workshops are really my favorite to teach,” says Ryan, “because they really provide students and teachers with a ton of great tools to go home with and practice on their own. Friday night we will explore what it means to really relax, and then Saturday morning we will take those principles into more active practice, specifically looking at the some back-bending postures!

“On Saturday afternoon we will work as a group to brainstorm and create a framework for teaching beginners effectively. I am very passionate about this topic because when I started yoga, I was thrown into the deep end, so-to-speak. From this experience, I developed a very specific approach to teaching my beginners classes. My hope with this workshop is not to give you a formula, but to really take a look at the trials and tribulations of teaching new students, and through discussion and exercises, learn some tools to provide new students a great foundation from which to build their yoga practice.“

Introduction to Restorative Yoga
– November 8th, 5:30 – 8pm
To paraphrase Judith Lasater, “The yoga mat has become a place of challenge.” While that challenge is not necessarily a bad thing, it can sometimes overwhelm the more quiet aspects of the asana practice. Because of this tendency, understanding the restorative practice is perhaps an essential part of any modern yogis study. Oftentimes this exploration comes in a time of injury, stress, or just simple exhaustion. However, understanding and experiencing the basic concepts of restorative yoga is appropriate and fun at any point along a student’s path. Join Ryan Cunningham for an exploration of restorative practices, and leave with some simple tricks to integrate these techniques into your everyday asana practice. Cost: $45

Ryan CunninghamThe Fluid Spine: Relieving Tension & Cultivating Strength
– November 9th, 10:30am – 1pm
Back pain has become epidemic in our culture. Yoga students often engage in rigid exercises in order to “protect” the spine during yoga practice. While this may cause temporary relief, it also can create excess tension in the spinal muscles from the sacrum all the way up to the neck, shoulders, and skull. Tension in these muscles can also be exacerbated by everyday circumstance, such as stress, work conditions, postural habits etc. The solution, like most things, is finding a balance of strength and relaxation as we train the body to support the spine through subtle muscular action. In this workshop we will stretch, relax, and challenge our bodies as we take the spine through its full range of motion. Backbends, twists, standing postures, and inversions will all be explored so please have at least six months of yoga experience under your belt. Cost: $45

Teacher Workshop: Building a Strong Foundation
– November 9th, 2 – 5:30pm
How to Teach Beginners/Basics, For Yoga Teachers and Yoga Teachers in Training
One of the hardest tasks to do for a new (or seasoned) teacher is to teach a room full of beginners. While this is understandable, it is essential that students have skilled teachers to build the foundation of their practice. This workshop will serve as a forum for teachers to discuss successful strategies for teaching new students. We will take time to develop a framework and guidelines for structuring your beginners’ class. Ryan will share tips, tricks, and anecdotes to help you develop your skills! Come with questions, a notebook, and an open mind! Cost: $60


Attend all three workshops at the discounted rate of $125. For more information, please visit www.sacredwatersyoga.com.

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

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